Warning after 'gang of youths' steal £500 from man at Barkingside cashpoint
PUBLISHED: 17:00 25 September 2019
A man wants to warn the community about cashpoint thefts in Barkingside after a group of youths surrounded him and managed to steal £500 from his account.
The man, 49, who asked not to be named, said he was surrounded by four youths, aged between 17 and 19, at the cashpoint outside Halifax in High Street around midday on Friday, September 20.
"I put my card in and then they surrounded me and kept saying 'it's going to swallow your card'. They just try to distract you and confuse you," he said.
"They were covering me so I couldn't see what was going on. They circled around me. They don't touch you, but they corner you in.
"You can't see what's happening behind you on the street because they are blocking you.
"One guy keeps distracting you in front of you while another leans around and starts using the keypad.
"I thought nothing was taken because I had my card when they left, but I went inside the bank and they checked and realised they had taken £500 out."
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The man, who said he is still in a state of shock, said he thought the group were going to stab him.
"I ran away from them thinking they might have had a knife," he said. "I thought they were going to stab me."
Now, he wants to warn others and ensure people are vigilant when using cash machines in the area.
He said he posted a warning in a neighbourhood group and somebody came back "within minutes" saying a similar incident had happened to them in the same area and both their phone and wallet had been stolen.
"I want to put a warning out about this gang of youths," he said. "I just feel like the community needs to know about this.
"Nothing like this has ever happened to me before. If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone."
A spokesman for the Met Police said: "The victim reported that he was surrounded by a number of suspects who managed to take a quantity of cash from his account as he was using the machine.
"The theft is alleged to have happened at around 12.30pm."
No arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing.